Living room with curtains.

5 Window Treatment Ideas For Every Room In Your Home

Erin Gobler11-Minute Read
July 08, 2022

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Window treatments are often one of the last things someone thinks of when designing a room. But if you choose the right ones, they can truly elevate your space, creating the perfect balance between functional and beautiful.

Are you wondering what type of window treatments are best for your space? In this guide, we’ll share a few things to think about when choosing window treatments and some window treatment ideas to consider for your home.

Considerations For Choosing The Best Window Treatments

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by all the options available when you’re choosing window treatments. Below we’ll discuss a few considerations to keep in mind to help you narrow down your list and choose the best window treatments for your home.

Amount Of Natural Light

The amount of natural light you want in a room can go a long way in helping you choose the right window treatments for your home. If you want a space with lots of natural light, there are plenty of light-filtering treatments that can help you achieve that. On the other hand, if you want room-darkening or blackout features — for a bedroom or nursery, for example — you can find window treatments for that as well.

Window Location

When you’re choosing treatments, it’s important to consider the room that the windows will be in. Of course, it’s important to think about the decor that’s already in the room to ensure you find something that looks good in the space. But the function of the room can also make a difference. For example, the window treatments you want in your bedroom are likely to look different from those you’d put in the dining room, and so on.

Window Shape

The location of the window you’re buying treatments for isn’t the only important factor. The shape and type of the window can also limit the styles available for you to choose from. For example, if you have a window with a rounded top, you may want treatments specifically designed for the top portion. You can also find rounded curtain rods to ensure your curtains properly cover the space. Tall, thin windows will have different requirements than long, wide ones and each can provide a very different look depending on the treatments you choose.

Window Treatment Style

Even if you’re buying functional window treatments, you still want them to look nice in your home. Before making your decision, consider the decor that’s already in the room where the window is located. Keep the current theme in mind when choosing the color, pattern and design of your window treatments. For example, if you’re buying window treatments for a minimalist living room, you probably wouldn't choose bright colors and complex patterns — you would want to choose treatments that fit the style of the room.

Efficiency And Functionality

Many window treatments are designed to be purely decorative, and that’s fine. But you can also find stylish window treatments that provide efficiency and functionality. One thing that’s becoming increasingly popular are energy-efficient window treatments. You can also find those that open and close on their own, absorb noise and more.

DIY Vs. Professional Installation

If you’re planning new window treatments for your home, consider whether you’re comfortable installing them yourself or whether you plan to hire a professional. Going the DIY route means you can save money, but it doesn’t always guarantee a job well done.

On the other hand, you’ll spend a bit more to hire someone for professional installation, but you can feel good about the finished product, knowing everything has been done properly.

If you’re considering hiring professional help, visit HomeAdvisor to get a quote for professional window treatment installation.

5 Popular Window Treatment Options And Styles

When you’re choosing window treatments for your home, there’s no shortage of options to choose from. Below we’ll share five of the most popular window treatment options to help you find the best for you based on appearance, functionality and more.

1. Shades

Shades are a type of window treatment generally made of fabric that can roll up or down the window. Shades sit in a roll at the top of the window to be pulled down using cords or a spring device when needed. Shades are usually fitted to the window and offer a smooth look. They can’t be adjusted based on the light in the same way that blinds can, but they can provide additional privacy and light blocking.

Roman Shades

Roman shades rolled up in windowed room.

Roman shades are a type of fabric window covering that, like other shades, can be raised or lowered to cover the window. As you raise roman shades, the fabric gradually folds on top of itself rather than rolling up. You can often still see the fold lines when the shades are down. Roman shades provide an aesthetic appeal and can be installed with either light-filtering or light-blocking features.

Pleated Shades

Brown pleated shades on external doors.

Pleated shades are made of a single layer of fabric that, like roman shades, fold on top of one another when you raise them. Pleated shades, sometimes known as accordion shades, come with benefits such as light control, privacy, and an added decorative element from the pleats. As the image above shows, the folds on pleated shades are generally smaller than those on roman shades.

Roller Shades

Beige roller shades.

Roller shades are a single piece of fabric that can roll up or down to cover your window. They offer a clean look, since the shades lower in a flat sheet with the roll mechanism at the top. Roller shades are easy to use and maintain and come in many styles, with options for light-filtering or light-blocking.

Cellular Or Honeycomb Shades

White honeycomb shades.

From the outside, honeycomb shades look similar to pleated shades since they fold on top of one another when you raise them. But when you look more closely, you see there are multiple layers of fabric which hold air between them, providing a greater degree of insulation. They also may provide more light-blocking capabilities.

Solar Shades

Solar shades pulled up mid way on a window overlooking a yard with a houseplant in the foreground.

Solar shades are a type of energy-efficient window covering that helps homeowners to save on energy costs. These shades filter the light, which protects you from UV rays that can come through the windows. On the outside, solar shades look similar to any other roller shade, with a variety of styles to choose from.

2. Curtains And Drapery 

Curtains and drapes are long pieces of fabric designed to cover your windows. They generally hang from a rod above the window and allow you to pull them across to cover the window, or simply hang on either side as decoration.

Curtains or drapes are extremely customizable. They can be sold in single pieces of fabric or two pieces, where one hangs on either side of the window. They can be both decorative and functional, designed for short or tall windows, can be light-blocking or light-filtering and can be installed with additional liners underneath.

Panel Curtains

Bright blue panel curtains pulled open to show sheer panels covering a window with light streaming through.

Panel curtains can come in two different categories. They can either be a single panel designed to cover your entire window, or they can be two panels, each of which covers half the window and they meet in the middle. Panel curtains can have a variety of styles and features, including light filtering, light blocking, insulating and more.

Sheer Curtains

Minimalist monochromatic white sitting area with sheer curtains.

Sheer curtains are made of a light type of material and are generally designed to allow light to filter in. They are often a light color such as white or gray. They don’t provide as much privacy as thicker curtains but provide a decorative element to a room.

Room Darkening Curtains

Bedroom with room darkening curtains pulled open to reveal a panoramic city view.

Room darkening curtains are essentially the opposite of sheer ones. Instead of allowing light to filter in, they are designed to block out light to help darken the room. Room darkening curtains come in varying levels of light-blocking, with some blocking out 100% of light and others slightly less.

Window Scarves

Formal dining room featuring window scarves.

Window scarves are not designed to cover a window like other curtains are. In fact, they have little functional purpose, and are designed entirely to be decorative. Window scarves are strips of fabric that hang along the top of your windows, and often along the side as well. They can add an extra pop of color or style to the more practical curtains underneath. 

3. Blinds

Blinds are hard window coverings that have many individual slats designed to cover your windows. Blinds, like shades, can be raised or lowered to either uncover or cover your window. But they can also be tipped to varying angles to impact the amount of light that comes through. You can open your lowered blinds to let in more light, or close them to block out light and provide more privacy.

Rattan or Bamboo Blinds

Rattan blinds semi-rolled up over a light filled window.

Rattan and bamboo are two materials frequently used to create blinds. These blinds are made from pieces of wood that are woven together. These blinds, also known as matchbook shades, provide a natural look to your home. When you look closely, you can usually see the many small pieces of wood that make up these blinds.

Wood Or Faux Wood Blinds

Bedroom with faux wood small slatted blinds.

Wood or faux wood blinds are those that have individual slats that are made of either real or fake wood. These blinds provide an elevated look to the standard plastic blinds you find covering many windows. They can come in many different colors and can be thick enough to block out light when they are closed.

Vertical Blinds

Sunrise streaming through semi opened vertical blinds in darkened room.

4. Shutters

Shutters are a type of window treatment that are made of wood or faux wood and can sit inside or outside of the house to cover your windows. Shutters are often purely decorative, meaning they don’t provide any function. However, many can also be used to fully cover your window. Unlike other window covers, which can be raised, lowered, or pulled across your windows, shutters usually open or close.

Traditional Colonial Shutters

White brick colonial style home with dormers on third floor and black shutters on second floor.

Traditional colonial shutters date back to early New England and were found on many homes as far back as — or even before — the Revolutionary War. Traditional colonial shutters are made of either real or faux wood and stained to match the color scheme of the home. Many colonial shutters are decorative, while others can be closed to cover the windows.

Farmhouse Shutters

Red farmhouse style window shutters on a stone house.

Farmhouse shutters work similarly to colonial shutters. But rather than small pieces of wood that run horizontally along the window, farmhouse shutters are made of larger slats of wood that run vertically next to the window. Functionally, farmhouse shutters work the same as colonial shutters, they simply offer a different style choice.

5. Window Modifications

Window modifications are changes you can make to your windows themselves rather than external pieces you add to go with them. Window modifications can provide either aesthetic or functional purposes.

Frosted Or Textured Glass

Frosted glass window.

Frosted and textured glass alters the surface of your window, making it cloudy, opaque, and difficult to see through. However, this window modification still allows some light to filter through. Textured glass can add a certain design or pattern, while frosted glass gives your windows an almost ice-covered appearance. Both provide some privacy while still allowing in some natural light.

Stained Glass

Art Nouveau stained glass window.

Most notably used in churches, stained glass is made of colored pieces of glass arranged to create a design within the window. From a design window, these window treatments add a unique beauty to the home and provide pops of color to a room. However, it also obstructs your view of the outside and doesn’t allow for as much natural light as other window modifications.

Tinted Windows

Man installing window tint in home.

Window tint is a dark, transparent film that’s applied to the inside of a home’s windows. It’s popular on vehicles, but many homeowners enjoy this feature on themselves as well. Window tinting has advantages, including reducing glare, reducing UV rays, and providing privacy. However, it can also void your window manufacturer’s warranty and change the aesthetic in a way some people may not like.

The Bottom Line

Adding window treatments to your home may not be the first priority when designing a space, but it has plenty of benefits. Window treatments can provide both aesthetic and functional perks, including providing privacy to a home, either blocking or filtering light, creating energy efficiencies, and more. If you’re considering upgrades you can make to your home, learn more about the costs of window replacements.

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Erin Gobler

Erin Gobler is a freelance personal finance expert and writer who has been publishing content online for nearly a decade. She specializes in financial topics like mortgages, investing, and credit cards. Erin's work has appeared in publications like Fox Business, NextAdvisor, Credit Karma, and more.